Sanders Welcomes Obama Step on Dakota Access Pipeline

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders applauded President Barack Obama for saying Tuesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is examining ways to reroute the Dakota Access Pipeline to avoid culturally sensitive lands of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. 

“I am very grateful to President Obama for listening to the voices of Native Americans and their many allies who have been protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Sanders said.

Sanders sent a letter to the White House last week urging the president to halt the pipeline construction.

Sanders again on Wednesday urged the president to suspend all federal permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline until the Corps of Engineers completes a full cultural and environmental review.   

“The protesters at Standing Rock have insisted all along that in addition to encroaching on their sacred lands, the Dakota Access Pipeline will also threaten our most important natural resource, water,” Sanders said.

If completed, the pipeline would transport nearly 20 million gallons of crude oil every day, potentially threatening dozens of bodies of water, including the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for 10 states and 28 tribes.

Moreover, Sanders again questioned whether it makes sense to build new oil pipelines at a time when we should be focusing on building a clean energy infrastructure. 

“We are already seeing the consequences of global climate change, including rising sea levels, drought, wildfires and extreme weather. We should be transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable sources of energy. This pipeline, if completed, will do the exact opposite. It will lock us into burning more and more fossil fuels for generations to come,” Sanders said.

Read Sanders’ letter to President Obama here.